Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Melinda Goldner




ed, patients, drug, emergency, providers


Emergency Departments (ED) need to be available when emergencies arise. A stressful environment and overcrowding can only disturb the operation of an ED. Two main sources of these impediments are non-emergency use of the ED and drug-seeking patients who seek controlled medications. Non-emergency users of the ED use it as a convenience or necessity, especially since EDs are compelled to screen and stabilize all patients, regardless of ability to pay or the severity of the case. ED providers have come to accept this as a fact of life; however, case-management for habitual ED users could help link patients with primary care providers to decrease ED utilization. Drug-seeking has increased through the years, and more methods of identifying drug-seekers are being implemented. Yet, it is difficult to control the problem since physicians often give patients the benefit of the doubt in pain treatment, or providers cannot disprove the legitimacy of pain to the point of denying a patient medication. The implementation of a type of provider/prescription/patient monitoring program needs to be implemented to track habitual users.